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Announcing new scripting/prototyping language

P: n/a
Oh no, not another "check out my cool new language" posting :-)

For about 5 years now, I have been developing a scripting/prototyping language
that is now available on the net. It's called Aikido and was born in Sun Labs, but
has been released as open source. I no longer work for Sun, but am continuing
to use and develop it.

The language has a syntax similar to C++ and Java but is aimed at adhoc and
prototyping tasks. Unlike other scripting language, the idea of Aikido is to make
it easy for the programmer who is familiar with the C/C++/Java syntax
to pick it up and get started immediately.

The language is interpreted and has some interesting features:

* Dynamically typed, with large number of builtin types (string, vector, map, etc)
* Lexically scoped, a la Pascal, Ada, etc.
* Object oriented, single inheritance with packages, classes and interfaces
* Multithreaded, with Java and Ada style monitors
* Builtin stream operations
* Operator overloading
* enumerated types
* powerful string manipulation with regular expressions
* ability to call out to C functions with no additional interface code
* partial Java object model

It runs on Solaris, Linux and Mac OS X and is available from www.sun.com/coolstuff.
I will put it on Source Forge or Bitkeeper when I have a chance.

If you find yourself in need of a programming language that is easy to use
and readable, please have a look at it.

Cheers,

Dave
Jul 17 '05 #1
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30 Replies


P: n/a
In comp.lang.c Dave Allison <da***********@comcast.net> wrote:
Oh no, not another "check out my cool new language" posting :-)
Nothing inherently wrong with it, except that few on the groups you've
posted this to will care. Try being topical next time.
If you find yourself in need of a programming language that is easy to use
and readable, please have a look at it.


When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
directly to C. Don't let me stop you, though.

--
Christopher Benson-Manica | I *should* know what I'm talking about - if I
ataru(at)cyberspace.org | don't, I need to know. Flames welcome.
Jul 17 '05 #2

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Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:


When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
directly to C. Don't let me stop you, though.


C? Easy to read? You have got to be kidding.

Jul 17 '05 #3

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"Larry Hazel" <lh*****@otelco.net> wrote...
Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:


When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
directly to C. Don't let me stop you, though.


C? Easy to read? You have got to be kidding.


C to a C[++] programmer is no more difficult than Chinese to
an educated Chinese person. I, on the other hand have no
idea how to read Chinese. But I don't exclaim "you've got
to be kidding" when somebody says that Chinese is possible
to read.
Jul 17 '05 #4

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Larry Hazel wrote:
Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:


When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
directly to C. Don't let me stop you, though.


C? Easy to read? You have got to be kidding.


Compared to the other languages in this crosspost? Damn right it's easy to
read! :-)

I mean yes, okay, I know what you mean. Any sufficiently advanced IOCCC
entry is indistinguishable from line noise. But not /all/ C programs are
IOCCC entries!
--
Richard Heathfield : bi****@eton.powernet.co.uk
"Usenet is a strange place." - Dennis M Ritchie, 29 July 1999.
C FAQ: http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html
K&R answers, C books, etc: http://users.powernet.co.uk/eton
Jul 17 '05 #5

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Dave Allison wrote:
It's called Aikido


As an aikidoka, I object to that.

I wonder if the Aikikai Hombu Dojo (or someone else) owns the rights to the
name aikido? Probably not, though, considering all the different styles out
there.

--
Unforgiven

Jul 17 '05 #6

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Larry Hazel wrote:

Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:


When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
directly to C. Don't let me stop you, though.


C? Easy to read? You have got to be kidding.


'C' is a right-regular language, with good orthogonality of
operators. That literally means "easy to read" - or at least
having the capacity to be writrten in a fashion that is easy
to read.

If you've ever seen any deep Perl code, you'd understand :)

--
Les Cargill
Jul 17 '05 #7

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On 5 Feb 2004 14:13:43 -0800, da***********@comcast.net (Dave Allison)
wrote in comp.lang.c:
Oh no, not another "check out my cool new language" posting :-)


Oh no, not another "cross posted to four groups and off-topic in all
of them" posting :-(

--
Jack Klein
Home: http://JK-Technology.Com
FAQs for
comp.lang.c http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html
comp.lang.c++ http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/
alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++
http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~a...FAQ-acllc.html
Jul 17 '05 #8

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["Followup-To:" header set to comp.lang.ada.]
On 2004-02-06, Les Cargill <lc******@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

'C' is a right-regular language, with good orthogonality of
operators. That literally means "easy to read" - or at least
having the capacity to be writrten in a fashion that is easy
to read.
This is simply not true. How come there are so many buffer overflow
security problems then? However, let us not start a language war again
(as usually happens each time somebody crosspost between several
language newsgroups).
If you've ever seen any deep Perl code, you'd understand :)


And if you had seen Ada95 code you would understand that C[++] isn't
readable. Especially with huge projects.

--
"Saving keystrokes is the job of the text editor, not the programming
language."
Jul 17 '05 #9

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Richard Heathfield <do******@address.co.uk.invalid> scribbled the following
on comp.lang.c:
Larry Hazel wrote:
Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:

When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
directly to C. Don't let me stop you, though.
C? Easy to read? You have got to be kidding.

Compared to the other languages in this crosspost? Damn right it's easy to
read! :-) I mean yes, okay, I know what you mean. Any sufficiently advanced IOCCC
entry is indistinguishable from line noise. But not /all/ C programs are
IOCCC entries!


I find C harder to read than Java, and easier to read than C++. I
don't know about Ada, as I've never seen it. But C and C++ are a
breeze compared to the likes of Perl, Python and Lisp. They look like
C looked while I was still a BASIC programmer: a random jumble of
punctuation marks.

--
/-- Joona Palaste (pa*****@cc.helsinki.fi) ------------- Finland --------\
\-- http://www.helsinki.fi/~palaste --------------------- rules! --------/
"Nothing lasts forever - so why not destroy it now?"
- Quake
Jul 17 '05 #10

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"Joona I Palaste" <pa*****@cc.helsinki.fi> wrote in message
news:bv**********@oravannahka.helsinki.fi...
... But C and C++ are a
breeze compared to the likes of Perl, Python and Lisp.


I find Perl particularly obtuse. Perl reminds me of those comics where
obscene language is replaced by a string of random puctuation characters.
Frankly, I don't understand how Perl has caught on when there are more
powerful, and more readable, string processing languages available.
Jul 17 '05 #11

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On Fri, 06 Feb 2004 14:49:40 +0000, Frank J. Lhota wrote:
"Joona I Palaste" <pa*****@cc.helsinki.fi> wrote in message
news:bv**********@oravannahka.helsinki.fi...
... But C and C++ are a
breeze compared to the likes of Perl, Python and Lisp.


I find Perl particularly obtuse. Perl reminds me of those comics where
obscene language is replaced by a string of random puctuation characters.
Frankly, I don't understand how Perl has caught on when there are more
powerful, and more readable, string processing languages available.


I find C particularly obtuse. C reminds me of those comics where
obscene language is replaced by a string of random puctuation characters.
Frankly, I don't understand how C has caught on when there are more
powerful, and more readable, processing languages available.

Not trying to be funny, but your description made me immediately think of
my first introduction to C, and now I'm (trying to be) a Perl hacker. I
guess what is readable is very much in the eye of the beholder.

M4
Jul 17 '05 #12

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In comp.lang.ada Victor Bazarov <v.********@comacast.net> wrote:
: "Larry Hazel" <lh*****@otelco.net> wrote...
:> Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:
:>
:> >
:> >
:> > When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
:> > directly to C.
:> >
:>
:> C? Easy to read? You have got to be kidding.
:
: I, on the other hand have no
: idea how to read Chinese. But I don't exclaim "you've got
: to be kidding" when somebody says that Chinese is possible
: to read.

Possible... "readable", then "easy to read", then "possible
to read". Some of Chinese ideographic content is easy to remember if
you learn to distinguish the pictures. Doesn't mean that Chinese
writing is easy to understand, e.g. because of context dependence.
Now what does "read" mean?
Georg
Jul 17 '05 #13

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"Georg Bauhaus" <sb*****@l1-hrz.uni-duisburg.de> wrote...
In comp.lang.ada Victor Bazarov <v.********@comacast.net> wrote:
: "Larry Hazel" <lh*****@otelco.net> wrote...
:> Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:
:>
:> >
:> >
:> > When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
:> > directly to C.
:> >
:>
:> C? Easy to read? You have got to be kidding.
:
: I, on the other hand have no
: idea how to read Chinese. But I don't exclaim "you've got
: to be kidding" when somebody says that Chinese is possible
: to read.

Possible... "readable", then "easy to read", then "possible
to read". Some of Chinese ideographic content is easy to remember if
you learn to distinguish the pictures. Doesn't mean that Chinese
writing is easy to understand, e.g. because of context dependence.
Now what does "read" mean?


What are you arguing about? For somebody who never saw Latin alphabet,
and only read Chinese all his life, what's easier to read? It has been
already mentioned, readability, or, if you so desire, easiness to read,
is in the eye of the beholder. There is nothing else to talk about.
Jul 17 '05 #14

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In comp.lang.ada Victor Bazarov <v.********@comacast.net> wrote:
:> Now what does "read" mean?
:
: What are you arguing about? For somebody who never saw Latin alphabet,
: and only read Chinese all his life, what's easier to read?

This is one of the questions implied by "Now what does 'read' mean?".
What's your answer?

(For example, I'm told that Chinese readers have an unusually
high reading speed, measured in time needed to absorb an article
containing a certain amount of "stuff" or "content".
I have not had difficulties reading Cobol fragments although
I know very little about Cobol.
I have had difficulties understanding the same ideas expressed
in other languages that I knew equally well.
How well can you express VHLevel programming constructs in
language X as compared to in language Y?)

: It has been
: already mentioned, readability, or, if you so desire, easiness to read,
: is in the eye of the beholder.

Mentioned... Well, claimed. How about referring to some results
in readability research (it exists)? How much does readability affect
the outcome of programming endeavour? Over time?

: There is nothing else to talk about.

Uhm, yes. Could you?
Jul 17 '05 #15

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"Georg Bauhaus" <sb*****@l1-hrz.uni-duisburg.de> wrote...
In comp.lang.ada Victor Bazarov <v.********@comacast.net> wrote:
[...]


I have no particular interest to continue this OT discussion here,
sorry.
Jul 17 '05 #16

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In <8Q*******************@nwrdny01.gnilink.net> "Frank J. Lhota" <NO******************@verizon.net> writes:
"Joona I Palaste" <pa*****@cc.helsinki.fi> wrote in message
news:bv**********@oravannahka.helsinki.fi...
... But C and C++ are a
breeze compared to the likes of Perl, Python and Lisp.
I find Perl particularly obtuse. Perl reminds me of those comics where
obscene language is replaced by a string of random puctuation characters.


It is perfectly possible to write Perl code that is as readable as
well written C code. And it is perfectly possible to write C code that
is as unreadable as badly written Perl code.

It's not the tool, it's the way it's used. Unfortunately, many Perl
tutorials encourage conciseness at the expense of readability. I started
to like Perl only when I realised that I don't have to follow the
tutorial's examples in my own coding.
Frankly, I don't understand how Perl has caught on when there are more
powerful, and more readable, string processing languages available.


Probably because Perl is a lot more than a string processing language and
has an excellent interface to the OS primitives. The C-derived syntax
makes it easy to learn to the C programmer, which is another big point,
exploited by many other languages which wanted to benefit from C's
popularity.

Dan
--
Dan Pop
DESY Zeuthen, RZ group
Email: Da*****@ifh.de
Jul 17 '05 #17

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"Martijn Lievaart" <m@remove.this.part.rtij.nl> wrote in message
news:pa****************************@remove.this.pa rt.rtij.nl...
I find C particularly obtuse. C reminds me of those comics where
obscene language is replaced by a string of random puctuation characters.
Frankly, I don't understand how C has caught on when there are more
powerful, and more readable, processing languages available.


You may be trying to be funny, but many would agree with this assessment!
Jul 17 '05 #18

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Frank J. Lhota wrote:
"Martijn Lievaart" <m@remove.this.part.rtij.nl> wrote in message
news:pa****************************@remove.this.pa rt.rtij.nl...
I find C particularly obtuse. C reminds me of those comics where
obscene language is replaced by a string of random puctuation characters.
Frankly, I don't understand how C has caught on when there are more
powerful, and more readable, processing languages available.

You may be trying to be funny, but many would agree with this assessment!

The first line you clipped specifically says "Not trying to be funny."

Jul 17 '05 #19

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"Dan Pop" <Da*****@cern.ch> wrote in message
news:c0**********@sunnews.cern.ch...
It is perfectly possible to write Perl code that is as readable as
well written C code. And it is perfectly possible to write C code that
is as unreadable as badly written Perl code.

It's not the tool, it's the way it's used. Unfortunately, many Perl
tutorials encourage conciseness at the expense of readability. I started
to like Perl only when I realised that I don't have to follow the
tutorial's examples in my own coding.


Good point. Even APL can be written in a readable fashion. (After all, APL
started as a documentation language!) A lot of the readability problems are
due more to the culture around programming languages, rather than the
limitations of the languages itself. One wonders how much obfuscated C might
have been avoided if introductory C texts did not present the following as
an acceptable way to copy a null-terminated string:

while( *s++ = *t++ )
;
Jul 17 '05 #20

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On Fri, 06 Feb 2004 14:02:31 -0500, Jeff Schwab wrote:
You may be trying to be funny, but many would agree with this assessment!


The first line you clipped specifically says "Not trying to be funny."


Obviously there was a certain amount of tongue in cheek, but the point is
real enough.

I find that different languages fit different needs. The choice of
language is often dictated by how much experience one/the team has with
languages. I would never choose ada, simply because I don't know it at all.

Language comparisons can be valid, but there are surprisingly few people
who can say anything solid about that. It quickly degenerates in, well not
necessarely a flame war, but some religion is there always.

That said, seeing an interesting cross of groups, let me make a bold
statement to see if I can sparkle some real discussion, at the risk of
starting another hijad: C++ is an accademic experiment which has thought
us much about computer languages and has grealy influenced how we think
about programming languages today. Unfortunately the experiment has
failed, because the language it produced is so full of subteleties one has
to be an expert to use it effectively. On the other hand, its one of the
best languages around because its multi-paradigm basics make it often a
very good solution for the problem at hand. In particular its support for
generic programming has advanced the state of programming significantly.

To clarify that last remark, there may be languages that do generics
better (I don't know them, but they are bound to exist), but those are not
mainstream.

M4
Jul 17 '05 #21

P: n/a
Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:
In comp.lang.c Dave Allison <da***********@comcast.net> wrote:
Oh no, not another "check out my cool new language" posting :-)


Nothing inherently wrong with it, except that few on the groups you've
posted this to will care. Try being topical next time.
If you find yourself in need of a programming language that is easy to
use and readable, please have a look at it.


When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
directly to C. Don't let me stop you, though.


C is the most difficult Language to read and use. And yes, I have 10 years+
experience in C and C++ so I know what I am talking about. After a few
years of C and C++ it became clear to me that all those great K&R invetions
(array = pointer, type convertions left right and center - to name only
two) are crap.

In C and C++ I spend 10 times as much time inside a debugger as for example
in Ada. And I have only 1 year experience in Ada which shows something
about the quality of C or C++.

As for the OP: Scripting in a C style language: No thank you.

With Regards

Martin.

--
mailto://kr******@users.sourceforge.net
http://www.ada.krischik.com

Jul 17 '05 #22

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Les Cargill wrote:
Larry Hazel wrote:

Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:
>
>
> When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
> directly to C. Don't let me stop you, though.
>
C? Easy to read? You have got to be kidding.


'C' is a right-regular language, with good orthogonality of
operators. That literally means "easy to read" - or at least
having the capacity to be writrten in a fashion that is easy
to read.


I have not yet seen a C programmer who does actualy does that.
If you've ever seen any deep Perl code, you'd understand :)


If you have ever seen Ada you know what we mean. C on the "easy to read" as
far away from Ada as Peal is from C.

With Regards

Martin

--
mailto://kr******@users.sourceforge.net
http://www.ada.krischik.com

Jul 17 '05 #23

P: n/a
Martijn Lievaart wrote:
On Fri, 06 Feb 2004 14:02:31 -0500, Jeff Schwab wrote: I find that different languages fit different needs. The choice of
language is often dictated by how much experience one/the team has with
languages. I would never choose ada, simply because I don't know it at
all.
Try to learn it. After 10 years of C and C++ I wanted someting new. I
learned Ada and hey wow I wish I had done earlier.
To clarify that last remark, there may be languages that do generics
better (I don't know them, but they are bound to exist),
Well then let me enlighten you: Ada generics are better. I could explain it
to you but it would be a rather large Article and I am unshure if anybody
is truly interested.
but those are not
mainstream.


Well Boing, Airbus, NASA - your are right, not Mainstream.

With Regards

Martin

--
mailto://kr******@users.sourceforge.net
http://www.ada.krischik.com

Jul 17 '05 #24

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Joona I Palaste <pa*****@cc.helsinki.fi> wrote in message news:<bv**********@oravannahka.helsinki.fi>...
Richard Heathfield <do******@address.co.uk.invalid> scribbled the following
on comp.lang.c:
Larry Hazel wrote:
Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:

When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
directly to C. Don't let me stop you, though.

C? Easy to read? You have got to be kidding.

Compared to the other languages in this crosspost? Damn right it's easy to
read! :-)

I mean yes, okay, I know what you mean. Any sufficiently advanced IOCCC
entry is indistinguishable from line noise. But not /all/ C programs are
IOCCC entries!


I find C harder to read than Java, and easier to read than C++. I
don't know about Ada, as I've never seen it. But C and C++ are a
breeze compared to the likes of Perl, Python and Lisp. They look like
C looked while I was still a BASIC programmer: a random jumble of
punctuation marks.

you have obviously never even seen a Python program, since it does not
use any punction marks. It ( and Lua ) are about as close to
executable pseudo-code as you can get. Python ( and Lua ) is
"comprehendable" by anyone that can read english for the most part. C
and C++ are not.

Python enforces rules about formatting even, so everyones Python code
HAS to conform to the same formatting rules, thus contributing to even
more "readibility"
Jul 17 '05 #25

P: n/a
Y2KYZFR1 <ja*************@yahoo.com> scribbled the following
on comp.lang.c:
Joona I Palaste <pa*****@cc.helsinki.fi> wrote in message news:<bv**********@oravannahka.helsinki.fi>...
Richard Heathfield <do******@address.co.uk.invalid> scribbled the following
on comp.lang.c:
> Larry Hazel wrote:
>> Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:
>>>
>>> When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
>>> directly to C. Don't let me stop you, though.
>>
>> C? Easy to read? You have got to be kidding.
> Compared to the other languages in this crosspost? Damn right it's easy to
> read! :-)

> I mean yes, okay, I know what you mean. Any sufficiently advanced IOCCC
> entry is indistinguishable from line noise. But not /all/ C programs are
> IOCCC entries!


I find C harder to read than Java, and easier to read than C++. I
don't know about Ada, as I've never seen it. But C and C++ are a
breeze compared to the likes of Perl, Python and Lisp. They look like
C looked while I was still a BASIC programmer: a random jumble of
punctuation marks.

you have obviously never even seen a Python program, since it does not
use any punction marks. It ( and Lua ) are about as close to
executable pseudo-code as you can get. Python ( and Lua ) is
"comprehendable" by anyone that can read english for the most part. C
and C++ are not. Python enforces rules about formatting even, so everyones Python code
HAS to conform to the same formatting rules, thus contributing to even
more "readibility"


You might be right about that. I know neither Perl nor Python, but I
have looked at both - and while Perl looks like a random jumble of
punctuation marks, Python is actually more readable. Not that I could
write a Python program to do anything beyond "Hello world", though -
but I think I could if I took the trouble to learn it.

--
/-- Joona Palaste (pa*****@cc.helsinki.fi) ------------- Finland --------\
\-- http://www.helsinki.fi/~palaste --------------------- rules! --------/
Jul 17 '05 #26

P: n/a
Y2KYZFR1 wrote:

Joona I Palaste <pa*****@cc.helsinki.fi> wrote in message news:<bv**********@oravannahka.helsinki.fi>...
Richard Heathfield <do******@address.co.uk.invalid> scribbled the following
on comp.lang.c:
Larry Hazel wrote:
> Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:
>>
>> When I need a language that's easy to use and readable, I turn
>> directly to C. Don't let me stop you, though.
>
> C? Easy to read? You have got to be kidding.

Compared to the other languages in this crosspost? Damn right it's easy to
read! :-)

I mean yes, okay, I know what you mean. Any sufficiently advanced IOCCC
entry is indistinguishable from line noise. But not /all/ C programs are
IOCCC entries!


I find C harder to read than Java, and easier to read than C++. I
don't know about Ada, as I've never seen it. But C and C++ are a
breeze compared to the likes of Perl, Python and Lisp. They look like
C looked while I was still a BASIC programmer: a random jumble of
punctuation marks.


you have obviously never even seen a Python program, since it does not
use any punction marks. It ( and Lua ) are about as close to
executable pseudo-code as you can get. Python ( and Lua ) is
"comprehendable" by anyone that can read english for the most part. C
and C++ are not.

Python enforces rules about formatting even, so everyones Python code
HAS to conform to the same formatting rules, thus contributing to even
more "readibility"


This brings in question the meaning of "readability". I'd say
readability is for those practiced in the language, not "civilians".
--
Les Cargill
Jul 17 '05 #27

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Y2KYZFR1 wrote:
Joona I Palaste <pa*****@cc.helsinki.fi> wrote in message news:<bv**********@oravannahka.helsinki.fi>...
Richard Heathfield <do******@address.co.uk.invalid> scribbled the following
on comp.lang.c:
Larry Hazel wrote:
Christopher Benson-Manica wrote:
.... you have obviously never even seen a Python program, since it does not
use any punction marks. It ( and Lua ) are about as close to
executable pseudo-code as you can get. Python ( and Lua ) is
"comprehendable" by anyone that can read english for the most part. C
and C++ are not.

Python enforces rules about formatting even, so everyones Python code
HAS to conform to the same formatting rules, thus contributing to even
more "readibility"


IMHO, Python made a mistake there. Rather than dictate
the input format, they should have accepted a variety
of freeform input, but instead provided a pretty print
capability to produce "conforming format". This way,
the person/editor combination is not punished for doing
things a bit different. I do believe that a uniform
format is nice: but take freeform input, and produce
the rigid format as output. Ie. let the machines do
the work ;-)

In the past, _some_ BASIC interpreters worked this way.
It was forgiving about the format upon entry, but when
you listed it, the format was converted from tokens back
to ASCII in a uniform and consistent manner.

Just my 0.02 worth in this now academic post ;-)
--
Warren W. Gay VE3WWG
http://ve3wwg.tk

Jul 17 '05 #28

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"Georg Bauhaus" <sb*****@l1-hrz.uni-duisburg.de> wrote in message
news:c0**********@a1-hrz.uni-duisburg.de...

Possible... "readable", then "easy to read", then "possible
to read". Some of Chinese ideographic content is easy to remember if
you learn to distinguish the pictures. Doesn't mean that Chinese
writing is easy to understand, e.g. because of context dependence.
Now what does "read" mean?


Actually, there is a system to Chinese characters. While it is true that
the meaning of some characters is lost even to many educated Chinese,
that is no different than the use of some obscure word
on some English readers. Consider the word, omphaloskepsis. A native
speaker of Greek will get a sense of the meaning of the word, but may
not know how it is used in English.

Chinese characters are made up of a small set of elementary [brush]
strokes. These are combined into a comprehensible set (about 300)
of radicals. The radicals, in turn, are used to compose the more
complicated characters. In some ways, written Chinese is more
object-oriented languages built over a discrete alphabet.

To read a newspaper in Chinese, one needs to know about 1800 to
2000 characters. This is well within the range of the vocabulary of
people using languages built over an alphabet. An educated Chinese
will know a lot more than 2000 characters.

As to readability of C versus other languages, my experience, in the
classroom, is that students shown a long program in C and the same
program in Ada, will nearly always find the Ada program easier to
read when they have never seen either language before.

Richard Riehle
Jul 17 '05 #29

P: n/a

"Les Cargill" <lc******@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:40***************@worldnet.att.net...
Larry Hazel wrote: ..
'C' is a right-regular language, with good orthogonality of
operators. That literally means "easy to read" - or at least
having the capacity to be writrten in a fashion that is easy
to read.

Easy to read may not be the same as easy to understand. My
criteria is focused more on understandability than simple readability.
I am often confronted with mathematical formulations that use
a set of symbols, or a combination of symbols, that I can easily
read, but which require study and hard work to actually understand.

Small C programs are relatively easy to understand. My problem
with the language is that understandability does not scale well as
program grow. There seems to be a rapid loss of easily accessible
meaning in C programs of any serious size.

I don't have this same problem with Ada. That is one of the reasons
I prefer Ada over C, even over C++, for larger programs. As an
Ada program grows, its understandability does not suffer as much
as does a corresponding program in C.

Dr. Robert Dewar, of NYU, has often made the point that Ada is
more readable than writeable. It has so often been my experience
that C programmers find it annoying to write := instead of = for
assignment. And C programmers miss compound assignment
operators. While these features of the language, along with many
more, make it easier for some programmers to lay down code
quickly, they do not make that code easier to read, even by other
C programmers.

From my perspective, the entire C family of languages, with the exception
of C#, has suffered, in terms of understandability, from the persistence
of original C syntax, and the failure to tidy up understandability has they
evolve from the mother tongue.

When I am in the classroom, for students who have never seen much of C
or Ada, programs written in Ada are almost always easier for them to
understand, on first reading, than programs written in any of the C family.

Richard Riehle
Jul 17 '05 #30

P: n/a
Richard Riehle wrote:
"Les Cargill" <lc******@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:40***************@worldnet.att.net...
Larry Hazel wrote: ..
'C' is a right-regular language, with good orthogonality of
operators. That literally means "easy to read" - or at least
having the capacity to be writrten in a fashion that is easy
to read.


Easy to read may not be the same as easy to understand. My
criteria is focused more on understandability than simple readability.
I am often confronted with mathematical formulations that use
a set of symbols, or a combination of symbols, that I can easily
read, but which require study and hard work to actually understand.

.... Richard Riehle


The frequent use of C macros doesn't help either. They constantly
hide what is really being compiled, so you are frequently
inspecting #include files or CPP output to see what is really
going on.
--
Warren W. Gay VE3WWG
http://ve3wwg.tk

Jul 17 '05 #31

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